Weeping trees with long, drooping branches are especially attractive accents in a house landscape. With their stunning growth tradition, they make excellent specimen trees as well as additions to grouped plantings that include other trees and shrubs. Though there are many unique choices, deciding upon an ornamental weeping tree that is suitable for your needs and environment can be key to achieving a successful outcome.
Weeping cherry trees (Prunus pendula) are one of the most beautiful and ornamental trees, with long slender branches that hang straight down, occasionally touching the ground. Generally acceptable for U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 5 through 8, weeping cherries prefer moist, fertile soil and are not drought tolerant. They bloom best in full sun but can tolerate some shade. Several varieties of weeping trees can be found, but also the Higan weeping cherry, also called “Pendula Rosea,” is one of the best, with plenty of light pink to rose-pink flowers that appear in multi-flowered collections in early spring. Another cultivar, called “Snow Fountains,” has bright white blooms on branches that cascade onto the ground.
Flowering crabapples (Malus spp.) Are ornamental flowering trees available in several weeping varieties with drooping branches that are covered in flowers in the spring. They are generally easy to grow, tolerating most soils and conditions. Crabapples flower best in full sun, but tolerate some shade and require little care once established. Among the countless crabapple cutivars, several weeping trees are exceptionally excellent choices. They comprise the cultivar “Louisa” (M. Louisa), together with delicate pink blooms and branches that can reach and spread across the ground, “Molten Lava” (M. molten lava), with white blooms and striking yellow-colored bark, and “Candied Apple” (M. weepcanzam candied apple) with red pink blossoms that mature to white. These weeping crabapple trees are suitable for USDA zones 4 through 8.
Weeping Evergreen Trees
Evergreen trees are good choices for areas where you want green foliage color year round. A number of different kinds of weeping trees retain their leaves all winter, such as the weeping Himalayan cedar (Cedrus deodora “Pendula”). This exceptionally attractive tree grows in USDA zones 7 and 8, is 3 feet tall and about 10 feet wide, with drooping branches covered in long, dark blue-green needles. Other evergreens incorporate the weeping fig (Ficus benjamina), a highly decorative, fruit-bearing tree that can be 50 feet tall, as well as the pigeon berry tree (Duranta erecta), a smaller, 4-foot tree using sprays of purple flowers on hanging branches in summer and fall. Both broadleaf evergreens, they are suitable for USDA zones 10 through 11.
Weeping willow trees (Salix spp.) Are renowned for their long, widely drooping branches. Even though their blooms are green and inconspicuous, they’re highly ornamental trees, especially in early spring, as their hanging limbs are covered with attractive yellow-green foliage. Willows thrive in moist places, such as near lakes or streams, but also tolerate average moisture and grow well in sun or partial shade. Among the greatest varieties is the babylon weeping willow (S. babylonica), which grows to a height of 40 feet at maturity with an equal spread and is best suited to USDA hardiness zones 6 through 8. The gold weeping willow (S. alba “Tristis”) is yet another excellent option, with bright yellow twigs and foliage on branches that can touch the ground. It is most appropriate for USDA zones 4 through 8.